What are the Paralympics?
The Paralympic Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world for athletes with physical disabilities. This includes limb deficiencies, visual impairments, impaired muscle power, and a variety of other physical disabilities. It started in 1948 with a small gathering of British World War II veterans and has since become a 22-sport international competition with thousands of athletes from more than 100 countries.
Epicenter of the of the U.S. Paralympic Movement
As the headquarters for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, the flagship U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, and the home of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, Colorado Springs is the epicenter of the U.S. Paralympic movement.
With more than half of the 240-member Tokyo 2020 U.S. Paralympic Team having lived or trained in Colorado Springs (122 of the 240 athletes), our history and connection with the U.S. Paralympic movement is embodied in the amazing athletes who are competing.
How to Watch
This year, a record 1,200 hours of coverage are being broadcast across all NBC platforms over 13 days of action. Streaming coverage is available on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. A full schedule of events is available here. Live and tape delayed coverage is also on The Olympic Channel.
Colorado Springs Athlete Storylines
Athletes from all over the United States come to live and train at the world-class facility that is the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. This includes many athletes on the para-cycling team, the para-shooting team, the para-swimming team, and the paratriathlon team. We even had the men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball team here in Colorado Springs for a final training camp right before they left for Tokyo! Here are some local storylines:
- In Rio 2016, a trio of Colorado Springs-based athletes swept the podium in paratriathlon. Allysa Seely (gold), Hailey Danz (silver) and Melissa Stockwell (bronze) dominated the field. This year, Seely and Danz repeated their performance from Rio with another gold and silver, respectively, in Tokyo.
- 31 of the 34 U.S. Paralympic swimming team members have lived or trained in Colorado Springs over the last several years. This includes 25x medalist Jessica Long, five-time medalist McKenzie Coan, and four-time medalist U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks, who all live in Colorado Springs.
- Ben Goodrich, who spent several years living in Colorado Springs and worked in the finance department for the City of Colorado Springs, returned for his second Paralympic Games, this time as the No. 1 ranked American para-judo athlete. In Tokyo, he won silver in the men’s 100kg division.
Visit the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
Named the best new attraction in 2020 by USA Today, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is one of the most accessible museums in the country. Try your hand at several Olympic & Paralympic sports, including archery, skeleton and goalball, and be inspired by the greatest Team USA athletes in history. Right now, the museum is celebrating its Colorado Grand Opening, fully opening its doors to the state this summer with an event-packed schedule of sport demos, athlete appearances and more, including hosting a Paralympic Day on Saturday, Sept. 4. Visit usopm.org for more details!
Help support U.S. Paralympic athletes
Unlike most countries, Team USA does not receive government funding for its athletes and programs. Instead, Team USA counts on generous Americans, like you, to help provide athletes with the resources they need to become Olympians and Paralympians — and represent America on and off the field of play.
If you have been inspired by these incredible athletes in Tokyo this summer, consider donating today by visiting TeamUSAFund.com. 100% of your donation goes to support athletes and the programs that help them be their best.